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posted: 3/13/2014 10:55 AM

Hersey debate team places second in state

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  • Seniors Katherine Surma and Sarah Jaffe hold their third-place trophy.

      Seniors Katherine Surma and Sarah Jaffe hold their third-place trophy.
    Courtesy of District 214

  • Seniors Mike Miller, Melanie Cohodes, Ben Goldberg, and Michael Feltes celebrate their victory at the Illinois Congressional Debate Association State Championships.

      Seniors Mike Miller, Melanie Cohodes, Ben Goldberg, and Michael Feltes celebrate their victory at the Illinois Congressional Debate Association State Championships.
    Courtesy of District 214

 
Submitted by District 214

John Hersey High School debaters have captured second in state honors after competing in the recent Illinois Congressional Debate Association State Championships at Harper College.

"Before the contest, I told the team that they have worked hard for four years, and they deserve some recognition," said head coach Jack Stanislaw.

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The team came within .5 of a point from winning it all as Naperville North High School nosed them out 82.33 to 81.83. Hersey found themselves second out of more than 400 students who entered the competition from Northern Illinois.

"It was tough to lose by a half point," Stanislaw said. "Unlike track that objectively measures time, debate is left up to the subjectivity of the judges, and an argument that wows one judge may turn off another."

All four of the championship debaters earned individual awards. Senior Michael Miller was named All-State along with Best Presiding Officer. Senior Melanie Cohodes also won All-State and Second Place Speaker. Co-captains Miller and Cohodes teamed up to co-author the best legislation, which reformed sexting laws.

As the top four debaters competed on the championship level, 10 other Hersey students competed on the Invitational level, and those debaters brought home a third-place trophy.

Top point-getters on the Invitational level were senior Sarah Jaffee, who won both Best Presiding Officer and First Place Speaker. Junior Karthik Ravi earned First Place Speaker, senior Mike Frankiewicz won Second Place Speaker, and senior Dan Nieresbach took home Third Place Speaker. No other school won trophies in both the Championship and Invitational levels.

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